February 28, 2016

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Endorse Faster Care for Veterans Act

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Endorse Faster Care for Veterans Act

Viral Facebook Video Prompts Growing Bipartisan Support for bill

Washington, DC – Today, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Organization, a leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization, announced its support for Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) bipartisan bill, H.R. 4352, the Faster Care for Veterans Act.

If passed, the bill would require Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals to use a patient self-scheduling online application in certain parts of the country to test whether this technology results in increased access to care. The private sector has used patient self-scheduling apps to dramatically reduce the number of missed and canceled appointments, saving time and money in the health system. This pilot would test if the same is true at the VA.

“IAVA is a leading voice for our nation’s veterans and I am honored to have their support for the Faster Care for Veterans Act,” said Moulton. “Self-scheduling technologies have been widely successful in the private sector by reducing the number of missed or canceled appointments, saving our health system money and creating a better experience for patients and doctors. This technology already exists and we owe it to our veterans to provide them the same access to high-quality care.”

“Veterans should have the same options that patients have in doctors’ offices across the country. Our bill empowers our veterans to make more health care decisions for themselves – based on their own time and schedules – while giving VA employees more tools to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.  If the VA is unable to follow through on that responsibility, then we must try something different. Self-scheduling is only one example of the endless creative and innovative ideas to show our gratitude by ensuring veterans receive the care they have earned, and I thank IAVA for the strong support of this common sense, bipartisan effort.”

"IAVA congratulates Reps. Seth Moulton and Cathy McMorris Rodgers for introducing this forward-thinking legislation to inject private sector innovation into the VA's process for scheduling appointments for veterans," said IAVA Chief Policy Officer Matt Miller. "This legislation is perfectly in sync with our goal of increasing access to quality health care in as timely a manner as possible.”

This past week, Moulton posted a video on his official Facebook page of District Representative and Army Veteran, Dennis Magnasco, attempting to make an appointment at the VA, but he could not get past the automated answering service. The video went viral and has been viewed more than 1 million times with 27,000 shares. After it was posted, 17 new Democratic and Republican co-sponsors signed on in support of the Faster Care for Veterans Act.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7KGCu4saU4&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Upon bill introduction, McMorris Rodgers and Moulton spoke with Stars and Stripes Magazine about how this proposal would be more efficient and affordable than agency-proposed alternatives. ABC World News Tonight and Fox & Friends have also covered the bill and need for sensible reforms at the VA.

The Faster Care for Veterans Act currently sits before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health. It has 37 co-sponsors.

To learn more about Congressman Seth Moulton visit https://moulton.house.gov or find the Congressman on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To learn more about House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, visit mcmorris.house.gov or follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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